The husband of a woman who disappeared around New Year’s Day conducted a series of disturbing Google searches – including “10 ways to dispose of a dead body if you really need to” – after he told police he was last seen. Minutes before her arrival, the prosecutor spoke.
Brian Walsh, who lives with his wife in Massachusetts, was also looking for “how to stop a corpse from decomposing” after the disappearance of 39-year-old Anna Walsh.
Ms Walshe has still not been located and is presumed dead.
Walsh, 47, is charged with assaulting and beating his wife with intent to murder her and moving her body or remains, according to a criminal complaint.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Prosecutors in Quincy, Mass., said Walshe did an Internet search on Dec. 27 for “what’s the best state for a divorce for a man.”
Norfolk County Assistant District Attorney Lynn Beran said: “It is believed that Brian Walsh did not get a divorce but dismembered Anna Walsh and discarded her body”.
Ms Beland said investigators found the couple’s DNA, a hacksaw, scissors and an ax in garbage containers at Walshe’s mother’s apartment complex in Swampscott, about 40 miles north of Cohasset, where they live.
On the morning of Jan. 1, an hour before he initially told investigators that his wife had left home to catch a flight to Washington, D.C., prosecutors said he performed dozens of disturbing Google searches on his son’s iPad. Searches, including “how long ago did the body start to stink”, “how to shroud the body”, “how long does it take to inherit the missing”, “can body parts be thrown away”.
He is accused of conducting further Google searches later that morning, such as “how long DNA can be preserved”, “some remains can be identified” and “best way to dismember and dispose of a corpse”.
Walshe also allegedly searched “how to remove blood stains from wooden floors”, “what happens when you put body parts in ammonia” and “is it better to throw away crime scene clothes or wash them off”.
The next day, Jan. 2, Walshe’s internet searches included “hacksaw is the best tool for dismemberment,” “without a body you’ll be charged with murder” and “can you identify a body with a broken tooth,” prosecutors said .
Walshe is accused of buying three rugs at the HomeGoods store on the same day.
He also purchased cleaning products, mops, brushes, duct tape, tarpaulins, protective clothing with boot covers, buckets, goggles, baking soda and an ax at the Home Depot store in Rockland, prosecutors said.
On Jan. 3, surveillance video captured Walshe heading to a dumpster site in Abington, a small town about 15 miles southwest of Cohasset, where he was seen lifting and discarding what appeared to be heavy items.
He then went to an apartment complex in Abington and another in Brockton, about four miles west of Abington, where he dumped more items.
Police later tried to track down the bags seen in bins at his first location in Abington, but they were destroyed after they were picked up and taken away to be shredded and incinerated, prosecutors said in court.
Walshe also allegedly did more Google searches that day, including: “What happens to the hair on dead bodies?” and “How fast does a body found in a plastic bag decompose compared to the surface of the woods?” and “Can Baking Soda Make Your Body Smell Good?”.
On Jan. 4, the day Ms. Walshe’s employer reported her missing, police interviewed Ms. Walshe at his home, where he purchased items including towels, bath mats, men’s clothing and trash cans, prosecutors said.
When authorities arrived at the house, they saw that Walshe’s Volvo had a plastic liner and the seats were lowered; a few days later, the liner was gone and new vacuum streaks appeared in the carpet, prosecutors said. Later analysis revealed blood stains inside the car.
On Jan. 5, the day news of the search for Ms. Walshe became public, Walshe’s phone records show he went first to a daycare center and then to his mother’s apartment complex in Swampscott.
Surveillance video captured him in an area of the complex where there were more litter boxes.
Authorities then searched the contents of the container after it was moved to the refuse transfer station and found 10 rubbish bags with stains consistent with blood.
A protective suit was found in a garbage bag.
Prosecutors searched the family’s home on Jan. 8 and found blood in the basement, a broken knife covered in blood, another knife, a heavy-duty large tarpaulin and plastic liner.
Police arrested Walshe the same day.
Prosecutors said phone records showed Ms. Walshe’s mobile device was at her home on New Year’s Eve until 3:14 a.m. on Jan. 2, at which point it was turned off.
Walshe showed little emotion when he appeared in court on Wednesday.
In a lengthy statement, Walshe’s attorney Tracy Miner claimed the media had “tried and convicted” him.